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Hurricane Roxanne: Wikis

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Hurricane Roxanne
Category 3 hurricane (SSHS)

Hurricane Roxanne on October 10, 1995 at 18:55 UTC
Formed October 7, 1995
Dissipated October 21, 1995
Highest
winds
115 mph (185 km/h) (1-minute sustained)
Lowest pressure 956 mbar (hPa; 28.23 inHg)
Fatalities 14 direct
Damage $1.5 billion (1995 USD)
$2 billion (2009 USD)
Areas
affected
Several parts of Mexico
Part of the
1995 Atlantic hurricane season

Hurricane Roxanne was the seventeenth storm, tenth hurricane, and the fifth and final major hurricane of the very active 1995 Atlantic hurricane season. It made landfall near Cozumel, Mexico at its peak intensity, causing over a $1 billion in damage. It then took an extremely unusual and unpredictable track in the Bay of Campeche before making its final landfall and dissipating. Roxanne was the first October hurricane that formed and reached Category 3 intensity on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale (SSHS) in the western Caribbean Sea since Hurricane Hattie in October 1961.[1] Roxanne was the first storm to be assigned a name beginning with 'R' since hurricane naming began in the Atlantic in 1950 (and one of only two such names ever used — the other being Rita in 2005).

Contents

Meteorological history

Storm path

Roxanne formed from a tropical wave that merged with a broad low pressure area and an upper trough just off the coast of Honduras. Despite this being a confusing formation, it is rather common in the western Caribbean.[1] On October 6, data indicated that a broad low, a tropical wave, was well established near the Cayman Islands and Honduras.[1] Satellite images indicated that the system was organizing and strengthening.[1] All of these factors formed a tropical depression in the western Caribbean at 1800 UTC on October 7 near Nicaragua.[1] At 0000 UTC on October 9, the depression became Tropical Storm Roxanne.[1] Roxanne now posed a threat to the Cayman Islands and Cuba. However, the trough that was steering Roxanne to the north moved on and was replaced with a high pressure system. This trough forced Roxanne west. As the storm moved towards the Yucatán, it intensified greatly.

On October 10, Roxanne strengthened into a hurricane at 0600 UTC and had a well-developed eye.[1] By 1200 UTC on October 10, the storm continued to strengthen and its pressure had fallen to 972 mb. Shortly after Roxanne reached hurricane strength, it rapidly intensified to Category 3 strength; this was the first time that had happened in the western Caribbean Sea since the 1990 season when Hurricane Marilyn took a very similar turn and intensification cycle.[1]). Roxanne reached her peak intensity with winds at 115 mph and pressure of 956 mb.[1] Roxanne made landfall near peak intensity just north of Tulum, a small town near Cozumel, Mexico.[1] Roxanne did not drop hurricane strength over land, despite the hurricane being inland for almost a full day and a half.

Roxanne emerged over water in the Bay of Campeche as a minimal hurricane. Roxanne weakened to a tropical storm again shortly after exiting the coast, and turned northwest. As soon as the circulation was mostly over water, Roxanne became a hurricane again. Steering currents over the southern Gulf were weak. Hurricane Roxanne trudged southeast, threatening the Yucatán again before turning northwest again. Roxanne steadily weakened, turned south, and finally dissipated near the southern end of the Bay of Campeche.[1]

Preparations

Roxanne's very atypical track across the western Caribbean and southern Gulf led to the issuing of many hurricane watches and warnings, and overall parts of Mexico were under watches and warnings for 10 days.[1] As the hurricane approached Cozumel, a hurricane warning was issued 23 hours before it made landfall in the area.[1] When Roxanne entered the Gulf of Mexico, watches and warnings were almost continuously being issued, discontinued, and re-issued for nearly 10 days as the storm erratically wandered in the Bay of Campeche.[1]

Impact

Roxanne Rainfall across Mexico

Roxanne caused 14 deaths, with five of them coming from the sinking of a petroleum work barge with 245 people on board.[1] There was massive damage in Mexico across numerous Mexican states. Over forty thousand homes were damaged in the States of Campeche, Quintana Roo, Tabasco Veracruz and Yucatán.[1] Crops were destroyed, cattle drowned, and roads were either washed out or blocked by mudslides. The road between the City of Carmen and Campeche was completely destroyed.[1] There are unconfirmed reports that many hotel lobbies in Cancun and Cozumel were damaged from pounding waves.[1] Rainfall and storm surge combined with overflowing rivers caused the worst flooding in Campeche since 1927.[1] Rainfall in some areas was over 20 inches, with the highest rainfall reported as 26.61 inches/676 mm at Silvituc/Champoton.[2] The storm surge also pounded the Mexican coastline for days and the Gulf waters surged inland hundreds of yards.

Roxanne caused the state owned Pemex to stop all drilling in the Gulf of Mexico during its pass.[3] As a result, Mexico lost millions of dollars of money because of the stop in production.[3]

Roxanne struck an area that had been directly struck by Hurricane Opal just a few weeks earlier and all damage could not be sorted out from Opal and Roxanne. Combined damage was estimated in the neighborhood of $1.5 billion.[1]

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Retirement

Because of the major damage in Mexico, the name Roxanne was retired in the spring of 1996, and will never again be used for an Atlantic hurricane. It was replaced with Rebekah in the 2001 season and in the 2007 Atlantic hurricane season, though Rebekah went unused during both hurricane seasons; it will next be in use for the 2013 season. Roxanne was the first storm name starting with "R" to have its name retired, and the only "R" name at the time, until Hurricane Rita in 2005.

See also

References

External links

Tropical cyclones of the 1995 Atlantic hurricane season
R
Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale
TD TS 1 2 3 4 5

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